October 25, 2009 Subject:
I completely disagree with the previous reviewer's assertion that Pippenger is somehow socially awkward. Look for example around 41:42 (during end credits) when he can be seen high-fiving the host.
Using QuickTime Player on a recent Macbook Pro, the sound is much too quiet, however (with VLC I don't hear any audio). Perhaps someone can normalize the audio and re-upload?
May 7, 2004 Subject:
Building Complex Math from Boolean Operations
This is a great film, if only as a study of a 'prototype computer nerd', slightly outside of his natural habitat.
Quality of sound and video in this file is excellent.
If you have ever wondered how your computer does complex operations using strings of ones and zeroes, this explains the basis... in almost pedantically precise language.
Remember, just a few short decades ago, your personal computer was an abstract agglomeration of theoretical logic gates and pencil-or-chalk-drawn circuit maps. Literally millions of person-hours were devoted to building complex higher order operation from lower order operations, in turn built on even simpler operations such as the 'NAND' and 'exclusive OR' operations the lecturer discusses.
That said, it might be hard for you to easily get through this film, unless you understand mathematics in a lecture format, presented by a genius, well-versed in his material..
Pay some attention to Nicholas Pippenger's body language during the intro, as he intently watches the host introduce him. He's obviously not used to appearing on camera, and seems completely out of place until his lecture begins.
Note the slight reflective pause when presented with questions from other mathematicians, before answering in a precise mathematical way... even when answering a question about 'how he chooses interesting mathematical problems'. The answer comes in terms of a mathematical frame of reference -- although the question is about his method of making a personal choice.